Impact Crater Filled with Layered Deposits

This image shows an impact crater in Utopia Planitia, in the northern hemisphere of Mars, that is filled with layered material.

The layered character of these deposits is consistent with episodic deposition. Each distinct layer represents a period of sediment deposition. The layers are parallel to each other, indicating that deposition occurred by material settling onto the surface, rather than being blown across the surface in sand dunes.

The hummocky texture of these deposits suggests that volatiles (such as carbon dioxide ice) are mixed in with the rocky sediment.

Written by: Chris Okubo   (11 December 2009)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_002175_2210 .

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Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona